Next came the hearse – an old hand-pulled, steel-wheeled express wagon formerly used in North Judson – bearing the casket – a wooden box constructed by the Norwayne Lumber Company. The casket contained Mrs. Cosmetic and Mr. Razor – a huge straight-edge specimen carved by Merth Lake. The hearse was guided by coachman, E. Ray Barker, Prosecuting Attorney of Starke County, with locomotion supplied by pall bearers – Amando Ceasar, Jim Jachim, Perry Lucas, Jr., Robert Smrt and Louis Vanek.
Following the hearse was Chief Burial Sexton, Dorwin Wobith, leading the acting clergy – Rabbi Gregg Kelly and Preacher Marvin D. Mclaughlin, Judge of the Starke Circuit Court. A host of mourners and weepers trudged over the cold pavement while the sour notes of the funeral dirge bounced off the buildings as the cortege slowly made its way North on Lane Street to Central Avenue, West to Keller Avenue and South to the high school auditorium. The entire cortege was guarded by the many uniformed members of the North Judson Volunteer Fire Department.
The casket was placed on the stage between candelabra and ferns. Flowers and wreaths were presented by Pioneer Florist Jack Vanek; Luxart – Louis and Alice Rozhon, and American Oak Preserving Co. Mrs. Robert Steffel was Decorator and draped the catafalque and surrounding area. Seated on the stage in a semi-circle behind the coffin were Joseph Mareska, Centennial General Chariman; the pall-bearers, Burial Sexton, Rabbi Kelly, Preacher McLaughlin, and chief mourners, Mrs. Perry Lucas, Jr., Mrs. Robert Steffel and Mrs. William Button.
The General Chairman opened with several announcements concerning the dance to follow and other Centennial events. Judge McLaughlin then delivered the funeral oration, the solemnity of which was exceeded only by the hilarity of its content and the promptness of the boys in the “A-men” corner to respond. (You can read the speech at Speech at burial of Muggs & Clara). The sermon was a parody on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Longfellow’s Village Blacksmith, Mark Anthony’s burial address for Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, and other witticisms. Perry Lucas, Jr. sang a solo which plucked the heartstrings of the assemblage. The song, written for the occasion by Mr. Lamoine Williams – Guidance Director of the North Judson High School – was entitled “We’re shaving tonight for the very last time” – and was a parody on “Tenting Tonight.” Mrs. William was the accompanist.
As the tears were mopped-up, so that the steps would not be too slippery, all mourners passed the casket, paid their lasts respects, and laid their razors and cosmetics to rest in the casket.
The cortege then reassembled and proceeded south to the intersection of Keller Avenue and Main Street where the burial ceremony was conducted and the interment made in the lawn of the fire house. Such ceremony was under the direction of the Burial Sexton, Dorwin Wobith, with orations by himself and Rabbi Kelly who lamented the financial loss caused by the passing of these loved ones.
It was truly a touching ceremony as all stood with bowed heads and hats in hand while little children strewed precious flowers on the graves.